Hapa-palooza fosters cross-cultural knowledge and celebration

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Media Archive on 2017-09-21 19:03Z by Steven

Hapa-palooza fosters cross-cultural knowledge and celebration

Westender: Everything Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Tessa Vikander

Participants dance during the family day portion of last year’s Hapa Palooza festival, celebrating mixed race backgrounds. — Contributed photo

Mixed-race artists use hybrid experience as creative spring-board

“Halfers” are one of the fastest growing population groups and their experiences are informing a fresh wave of creativity, says Jeff Chiba Stearns, co-founder of the Hapa-palooza festival.

Now in its seventh year, the annual festival celebrating people of mixed backgrounds will hit Vancouver this weekend, providing space for celebration as well as discussion on the nuances of hybrid identity.

“Don’t think of us as a special little subset of the Canadian community or demographic, but we’re actually growing – we’re one of the fastest growing demographics,” Chiba Stearns says.

Carleigh Baker

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Hapa-Palooza 2015 | Talking Hapa With Canadian Broadcaster Margaret Gallager

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive on 2015-11-28 16:39Z by Steven

Hapa-Palooza 2015 | Talking Hapa With Canadian Broadcaster Margaret Gallager

Schema Magazine

Marissa Willcox

Hapa-palooza is here! Celebrating what Vancouver does best: mixed-heritage and blended cultural identities. Drawing from the Hawaiian origin of the word “hapa” (used by many people in Canada and U.S. who identify as being of mixed-heritage) Vancouver is a perfect venue this year’s diverse array of speakers, workshops and family events.

This festival spans over four days and features many mixed-heritage voices, including Vancouver’s much-loved broadcaster Margaret Gallager. An award winning CBC radio host, she joins Lawrence Hill on September 17th for a much-anticipated evening of stimulating conversation at the GoldCorp Centre for the Arts. Marissa Willcox had a chance to ask her a few questions about her cultural identity and work in Canada’s public broadcaster.

Marissa Willcox: As a broadcaster and community member of mixed-heritage, to what extent is Vancouver’s ethnic and cultural diversity an aspect of the stories you cover?

Margaret Gallager: As someone who works for the public broadcaster, it’s part of my job (and privilege) to reflect Canadian society through the stories I bring to air. And diversity is a huge part of who we are, especially in Vancouver. So, if you’re doing your job right, some of those stories are naturally going to come from diverse communities.

I’d say that cultural diversity is better reflected in the media these days than it was when I was growing up, whether that is in the stories that are told, or the people who are presenting them. And I think that change came about in part through a conscious effort that has taken years…

Read the entire interview here.

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Raising Mixed Kids: Family Workshop with Sharon Chang

Posted in Canada, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-09-19 02:25Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Kids: Family Workshop with Sharon Chang

Hapa-palooza Festival 2015
Heartwood Community Cafe
317 E. Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Saturday, 2015-09-19, 18:00-20:00 PDT (Local Time)

Sharon H. Chang, author, scholar, sociologist and activist
Multiracial Asian Families

How do we have transformative race conversations with multi-racial children when most grownups aren’t even able to so with each other? Is it possible to create an environment for mixed children that leaves them liberated, informed, and empowered to make change? Research shows children as young as 6 months old are able to categorize people by race. By 4 and 5-years-old children have used racial reasoning to discriminate against their peers. Studies also shows children’s biased attitudes are not directly correlated to those of their parents and caregivers. That’s because our children see and hear everything and racism is woven into the very fabric of society. But what does all this mean for mixed race children growing up across racial boundaries? How can we raise multiracial kids to feel good about themselves in a raced world? Please join Hapa-palooza Festival and parent educator Sharon H. Chang for the North American launch of her new book, Raising Mixed Race, and to dialogue on ways we can healthily talk about race with our mixed children at a time in their lives when it’s most critical.

For more information, click here.

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Hapa-palooza 2015: Celebrate mixed heritage and own your identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive on 2015-09-11 20:45Z by Steven

Hapa-palooza 2015: Celebrate mixed heritage and own your identity

Vancouver Observer
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Jordan Yerman

Mixed-race, outsider, or ‘half-breed’: you’re not alone at Hapa-palooza. Get in on Canada’s largest celebration of mixed heritage.

Tôi là người lai mỹ means “I’m an American half-breed”. Author and publisher Brandy Liên Worrall wrote it in her journal while sitting at an outdoor cafe during her first trip to Vietnam. She wrote in Vietnamese for the benefit of the locals who were reading over her shoulder. Worrall’s Vietnamese mother laughed at first, and then asked why her daughter didn’t just say she was Vietnamese. “Because, Mom,” replied Worrall, “I’m not just Vietnamese. I’m not just American. I’m gonna recognize that I’m người lai, and I’m going to own that word.”

“In that country, where I have origins,” says Worrall in a DTES cafe, “[being mixed-race] is still that stigmatized.” We’re sitting with Anna Ling Kaye, editor of Ricepaper Magazine and co-founder of Hapa-palooza, which returns for its fifth year on September 16. Kaye says, “In Taiwan, my extended family is certainly nonplussed by me. They’re complimentary: ‘Oh, you don’t need to perm your hair! You’re so curvy!’” Contrasting that was an encounter with a Chinese woman in Vancouver who told her, “You look how I feel!” The woman saw herself as presenting as Chinese, but feeling Canadian. “We don’t feel Hapa-palooza is only for people of mixed heritage. It’s for anyone who wants to talk about identity.”…

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Don’t miss Hapa-Palooza 2013: Celebrate mixed ethnicity and third culture in Vancouver

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Media Archive on 2013-09-16 00:39Z by Steven

Don’t miss Hapa-Palooza 2013: Celebrate mixed ethnicity and third culture in Vancouver

Vancouver Observer
Vancouver, British Columbia

Jordan Yerman

Celebrate the whole you with literature, film, art, and dance. This is Hapa-Palooza.

The third annual Hapa-Palooza Festival kicks off on September 18, once again bringing three days of art and culture to Vancouver. Focusing on mixed-race identity, this is a celebration of what makes us… us.

Anna Ling Kaye, Hapa-Palooza’s Artistic Director, says, “The big thing that’s different this year is that we’re incorporated as our own society. We’re making a big push for a bigger festival.”…

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Hapa-Palooza challenges mixed-race stereotypes

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Media Archive on 2011-09-10 18:46Z by Steven

Hapa-Palooza challenges mixed-race stereotypes

The Vancouver Sun

Vivian Luk, Special To The Sun

‘We’re 100-per-cent whole, we’re Canadian,’ says filmmaker who faced identity struggles and discrimination while growing up

The nickname Super Nip – partly derived from a Second World War term to describe Japanese people – and racial jokes followed Jeff Chiba Stearns everywhere when he was growing up in Kelowna.

More common, however, was the question, “So, what are you anyway?” Back in elementary and high school, Stearns, now 32, would answer truthfully: He is half-Japanese (the other half being a mixture of English, Scottish, Russian and German).

His “monster truck-driving, redneck” friends would treat him like Fez, the fictional foreign exchange student from Fox Network’s That ’70s Show, whose country of origin was one of the series’ longest-running jokes.

Other times, given his slightly darker complexion, he would say for fun that he is Hawaiian or Tahitian.

But asked that question now, Stearns, an animated filmmaker, answers, “I’m hapa.”

“Hapa” is a Hawaiian term that describes someone of interracial descent. A new cultural festival in Vancouver this week will celebrate and raise awareness of people of mixedroots origins.

From today to Saturday, Hapa-Palooza will feature film, literature, dance and music produced by mixedrace artists, as well as panel discussions. While the festival is meant to foster dialogue about the identity struggles and discrimination that many mixed-race Canadians face, Stearns, whose documentary on growing up in a hapa family will be featured on Thursday, said the goal is also to challenge the idea that mixed people are only part Canadian.

“I don’t like that people refer to themselves as half because we’re not broken, we don’t need fixing,” he said. “I’ve grown to understand that we’re still 100-per-cent whole, we’re Canadian.”…

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